Why Multilinguify?

Teacher blogging in the summer can seem like a futile task because, it’s summer right? Shouldn’t we all be living out precious months of radical freedom, severing our “teacher” self from our “real” selves?

Me, hiding in an alley, looking #classroomdecor on Instagram

But the more I tried to live out that second “authentic” me, it became clear that I couldn’t really turn the teacher switch off. That plane-hopping, brunching, espresso sipping, cold-pressed juice guzzling persona I kept trying to capture on social media was nothing but a sleazy cover-up of the teacher inside. In reality, I was hanging out with friends from work and talking about work drama. Looking with fasciation and horror at Pinterest pages of rainbow coloured bins and bulletin boards labelled in loopy fonts. Ogling classrooms on Instagram strung with Edison bulbs that looked like craft breweries I’d want to drink at with bearded friends.

I have a serious love for travel and food bloggers but starting my own just never quite came together. Writing about teaching, and my love-hate relationship with it, came to me easier than any other topic on my mind that I’d blogged about before.

I didn’t really want this blog to be strictly about teaching, but also about how teachers share and experience language, identity, and culture: native, foreign, dialect, digital, written, visual, and whatever else can be tied to communication and connectedness. Collaborative, contemporary, passionate, and real expressions of how we are making sense of this job. An education experiment mixed with social media and modern marketing practices. An opportunity to share ideas beyond sticky note parking lots and giant chart paper at the staff meeting. Most importantly, a way to be teacher-centred in a student-centred world.

So what’s up with the name of this blog? Multilinguify was a collaborative project I did with some of my work friends on the topic of teaching ESL and French Immersion kids that ended up in a crazy weird adventure in New York (more on that later). The experience reflected all the things about teaching I actually enjoy — travel, language, fun and authentic collaboration, and a good shot of ridiculousness that comes along from being in school way too long. These elements form the foundation of this blog, as well as a team of core contributors looking to share all the knowledge, humour, and insights that accumulate while working in a multilingual, multimedia, multiliterate, and multicultural kind of world.